[en] A meteor spectrum was recorded serendipitously with the ESO Very Large Telescope during a long exposure in long-slit spectroscopic mode with the instrument FORS1. The -8 magnitude fireball crossed the narrow (1 arcsec × 7 arcmin) slit during the observation of a high z supernova in normal service mode operation on May 12, 2002. The spectrum covers the range of 637 1050 nm, where the meteor’s air plasma emissions from N[SUB]2[/SUB], N and O dominate. The meteor trail appears moreover resolved along the slit but we conclude that this is because the meteor at 100 km altitude was out of focus for the VLT. The plasma excitation temperature varies only from about 4300 to 4365 K across the trail, based on the ratio of atomic and molecular nitrogen emissions. This is in agreement with the fact that the trail is not actually spatially resolved. Finally, carbon atom emission is not detected in the relatively unexplored range above 900 nm.